David Ripley admitted his disappointment at seeing the Steelbacks beaten by Yorkshire Vikings - but the head coach was delighted that his team have secured a home quarter-final.
Northants were beaten by 14 runs at the County Ground on Friday night, but they amassed enough runs to finish second in the NatWest T20 Blast North Group on run rate.
Yorkshire could have finished as runners-up had they stopped the Steelbacks reaching 159, but Ripley’s side finished on 163 for seven.
That was enough to set up a home tie in the last eight, with Middlesex set to be the visitors on Tuesday, August 9 (start time 6.30pm).
And when asked for his reflections on the game against the Vikings, Ripley said: “I thought we played pretty well.
“Yorkshire are on a good run, they’ve been playing some good cricket and they’ve got a bit of momentum going their way.
“I thought we started very well and I’m a bit disappointed they got to that number really.
“We didn’t really execute, we allowed them to get under the ball and hit five sixes.
“That number was higher than it looked like it would be, but they’re capable of posting higher than that if they come out of the blocks quickly.
“It was a bit of a mixed bag and I thought I chase was alright given that we lost those early wickets.
“Alex Wakely (who made 64) played particularly well, Ben Duckett (who made 41) obviously kept us in the game even though the wickets were falling.
“It was a good game of cricket, not a lot in it and we’re disappointed to have lost, but when you look back at the 14 games, we’ve got a home quarter-final and we’re delighted with that.”
Ripley revealed he didn’t tell his players that only 159 was needed until the fifth wicket had fallen, with the Steelbacks on 137 for five.
And he added: “The home quarter-final was the aim when we started the campaign and there’s only four teams who have got home quarter-finals.
“We’re one of them so we’ve got to be very happy.”